Preparing for the assessment and rating visit

Assessment and rating fact sheet series

The Department has developed a series of four fact sheets to provide education and care services with information about the assessment and rating process. These fact sheets mirror the stages of the process: the first provides background information about the process, the second provides guidance to education and care services that will be assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard, the third focuses on the visit to the education and care service and the final fact sheet outlines what happens after the assessment and rating visit has been completed.

  1. Assessment and rating process
  2. Preparing for the ass​essment and rating visit
  3. Assessment and rating visit
  4. After an assessment and rating visit

The assessment and rating process is designed to be a cooperative approach with opportunities for services to discuss and supply evidence on how they are meeting the National Quality Standard and embracing outcomes for children.

Preparation for assessment and rating

Undertake your own assessment of your service against the National Quality Standard, the National Law and the National Regulations. You should incorporate your findings in your quality improvement plan. This will empower you to play an active part in the assessment and rating process (see National Quality Standard Assessment and Rating Instrument).

  • The assessment and rating process is designed to be collaborative and empowering and involve all educators, staff, parents and children in your self-assessment and discussions.
  • Know the National Quality Standard and how your program fits within the applicable Learning Framework: The Early Years Learning Framework and/or Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework and/or the Framework for School Age Care.
  • Review the Guide to the National Quality Standard which provides information about what the authorised officer may observe, discuss and sight (also so educators and others know what to expect).
  • Inform parents and educators of the assessment and rating process and the expected date for the visit.
  • Be reflective and share discussions within your service - use topics from the Guide to the National Quality Standard.

For further information about the assessment and rating visit see fact sheet Assessment and rating visit.

What will happen prior to the assessment and rating visit?

Prior to the assessment and rating visit, the approved provider will receive a letter from the Department notifying of the four week period in which the assessment and rating visit will occur. The letter will request the quality improvement plan to be supplied within two weeks of receiving the letter, and request that the approved provider nominate a contact person at the service to liaise with the Department.

The authorised officer will phone the service to provide information or clarification about the assessment and rating process. Following this, the Department will email the service to confirm details of the assessment and rating visit including length of visit, date and arrival time.

Approved providers of family day care services will also be required to submit a copy of the family day care register.

It is an offence not to provide the quality improvement plan and/or the family day care register to the Department on request (regulations 55 & 56).

During the visit

  • Introduce the authorised officer to the children, educators and families or allow the authorised officer to explain why they are there.
  • Talk with the authorised officer about the best time for discussions to minimise any disruption to the program.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Remember normal everyday practice is often all that is required to demonstrate that the service is meeting the National Quality Standard.
  • The authorised officer will provide some feedback at the end of the visit, however they will not be able to provide information about the rating.

Documentation required for the assessment and rating visit

The authorised officer will review a sample of documents during the assessment and rating visit. To minimise disruption during the assessment and rating visit, ensure the following documentation is readily available for the authorised officer:

  • the assessments or evaluations of each child at the service (regulation 74)
  • the educational program for the children at the service (regulation 75)
  • the incident, injury, trauma and illness record (regulation 87)
  • administration of medication record (regulations 92 and 93)
  • staff record (regulations 145 - 152)
  • children's attendance records for centre-based services (regulation 158 and 159)
  • children's enrolment records (regulation 160 and regulations 99, 102, 161, and 162)
  • the service's policies and procedures (regulation 168 and regulations 90 and 97)
  • evidence of prescribed insurance (regulation 180).

Additional requirements for family day care services:

  • register of family day care educators (regulation 153)
  • records of staff, family day care educators, family day care co-ordinators and family day care educator assistants (regulation 154)
  • record of visitors (regulation 165)
  • the additional policies and procedures for family day care services (regulation 169).

Required policies and procedures (regulation 168)

Policies and procedures must be available at the service and readily accessible to all educators, staff, volunteers, families and for inspection by the Department. Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that the service's policies and procedures are followed (regulation 170).

Further information about the required policies and procedures can be accessed in the Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 available at: Guide to the National Law and National Regulations now available.

Prescribed information to be displayed (section 172 and regulation 173)

The prescribed information must be displayed at an approved service premises so that it is clearly visible from the main entrance to the service.

Further information about the prescribed information to be displayed can be accessed in the Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 available at: Guide to the National Law and National Regulations now available.

It's important to keep your contact details up-to-date

During the assessment and rating process the authorised officer will request that the contact person for the service confirm the contact information held on the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS) for the service.  If these details require updating the approved provider should change the contact details by completing the relevant forms;

  • PA08 Notification of change to information about approved provider; or
  • SA12 Notification of change of information about an approved service.

To do this, approved providers must be registered for NQAITS and can do this at the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website at: National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS) .

ACECQA provides technical support for services experiencing issues with registering, linking, accessing or general error messages while using NQAITS. The NQAITS service desk can be contacted on 1300 667 319 or via email at nqaits@acecqa.gov.au.

Resources

Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework is available at: Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

The Early Years Learning Framework is available at: Belonging, Being and Becoming the early years learning framework for australia

TheFramework for School Age Care is available at: My time our place framework for school age care in Australia

The following resources are available on the ACECQA website: ACECQA - Assessment and rating resources

  • Guide to Assessment and Rating for Services
  • National Quality Standard Assessment and Rating
  • National Quality Framework Resource Kit is available at: ACECQA - National Quality framework resource kit
    • Guide to the National Quality Framework
    • Guide to the National Law and National Regulations
    • Guide to the National Quality Standard
    • Guide to Developing a Quality Improvement Plan.

The following fact sheets provide further information about the assessment and rating process:

General National Quality Standard resources are available at: National Quality Standard: useful links.

Further information

The Department of Education and Training

Phone: 1300 307 415
Email: licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au
Web: Regulation and Quality Assessment

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the national, independent statutory authority governing the National Quality Framework.

Phone: 1300 422 327
Email: enquiries@acecqa.gov.au
Web: Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)